Tag Archives: Economic Collapse

Crisis Time

I don’t believe in the crisis, in the economy, in whatever it is that’s supposed to be so bad about today, about right now, the age in which we’re living. The market tanked in 2008, everything got really bad, and we’re still trying to get out of it. That’s the narrative, right? I don’t buy it.

I think it’s all made up, a bunch of nonsense. Sure, something definitely happened. There was a housing bubble. Governments let banks do a bunch of stuff that they weren’t supposed to be doing. Lots of people lost lots of money. I’m not trying to trivialize stuff like people losing their homes of being out of work.

But crisis? Still? It’s 2013. There’s no crisis. Take two seconds out of your life and look up the Great Depression on the Internet. And then think about our “Great” recession. There weren’t any bread lines. The government didn’t have to start directly hiring its own citizens (although it should have.)

I’m just saying, this is supposedly the worst time in our nation’s history since the Great Depression. But everybody has an iPhone. Everybody’s still paying a ridiculously high monthly contract to use that iPhone. Everybody has access to the Internet. How is the crisis at all making our lives different?

Since 2008 I’ve gone to Ecuador with the Peace Corps. I came back to the US and had no trouble getting two different restaurant jobs. Things are supposed to be so bad, but there hasn’t been any decrease in the number of tourists travelling to New York to spend twenty dollars on a cheeseburger. Maybe it’s just because I live in New York, but all I see are people throwing money around, on cabs, on food, on cell phones and clothing.

By this point the crisis has to be totally manufactured. It’s good for politics. Each side came blame the other side as the reason for why things aren’t getting better. But things aren’t getting worse. I’d argue that there’s no real progress. If both sides got together and really charted a course for the future, history has shown us that there are great leaps we can take forward as a society.

And there are plenty of real problems. If we could stop fighting about how to pool our resources, we could eliminate poverty, we could commission new public works, provide higher education for everybody, even basic education. But there’s no time for that? Why? Because five years later we’re still just coming out of a recession. Right. We’re still in crisis mode. There’s no time think about anything except the immediate present.

Crisis is good for big business. Banks, conglomerates, they’re all making record profits. All while the rest of us are just kind of doing the same as we’ve always been doing. They can justify not hiring because, just like I said above, they can say, hey, things are still shaky. We’re too soon out of this mess.

I’m not going anywhere with this. I don’t like sounding preachy. I just think that the crisis is a bunch of baloney. As a species, we have the means to feed everybody on the planet, but we don’t. We have the means to help everybody get out of poverty, but we aren’t doing that. It’s too easy for us to point the finger at some imaginary mess, to say to those that aren’t doing so great, listen, you should be able to help yourself out buddy.

I’d love to see redistribution on a large scale. I’d love to see the government come in and mandate ridiculously high taxes for those hoarding all of their wealth. Because the people who have a lot, the people who have power, they aren’t using that power to make anything better for society at large. They’re stalling. They’re in the way. They cry crisis at every attempt to actually do something. Because they don’t want anything done. They have no reason to. Crisis has been good for business, great for their own bottom lines. Why change anything?

You guys ever think about?

You guys ever think about the economy? You guys ever worry about where the future is going to take all of us? All of our money? All of our security? You ever stay up late, shaking in your bed, sweating profusely, terrified that someday soon, all of the world’s currencies will simply lose all of their value at the same exact time, leaving humans to start bartering for their basic necessities? How much is a roll of toilet paper going to cost? How long will my comic book collection keep my fridge stocked? I guess I could always rent out my Xbox, but how am I going to pay for the electricity that I need to keep it running? And will Microsoft still honor my Xbox Live subscription even if the cash that I would normally use to pay for it is now completely worthless? What about all of those coins in all of those fountains scattered around the country? If dollars and cents don’t count for dollars or cents, what about all of those dreams and wishes people made when they threw them in there in the first place? Are they still going to come true? What if they already came true? Are they going to be reversed? Will the reversal be instantaneous or gradual?

You guys ever think about time travel? I’ve told myself a few times over the course of my life that, if time travel is ever invented while I’m still alive, I’ll travel back to this moment as proof. And then I’ll fold my arms and wait around for a minute or two to see if my future self will honor my commitment and visit me. But I never wind up showing up. And I get all depressed thinking that, maybe I’ll never be around to see humanity finally cross the time barrier. But then I think, well, I never really wrote it down, the exact date of when I told myself I’d come back. All I did was just tell myself that I’d visit myself right now, and then when it didn’t happen, I got so let down that I never committed to memory the exact date and time that I would have had to come back to. And so, maybe the whole exercise, maybe it’s all a little self-defeating. So maybe I should write it down. But then again, maybe time travel will exist while I’m alive, but the technology will be so protected that I’ll never have access to it. Because, people went to the moon, right? But it’s not like I ever got to go to the moon. And then I think, which would be worse, not having ever lived to see time travel get invented, or living to see it get invented, but not living long enough for it to become commercially accessible for everyone to use? I always think about my grandfather, who was in his late seventies by the time the Internet came out. He saw it and heard people talking about it, but by the time they were installing high-speed lines in everyone’s houses, it was way too late for him to really get into it. And he really would have loved Wikipedia.

You guys ever think about George W. Bush? What do you think he’s up to nowadays? I know he came out with that memoir and did laps around all the talk shows and everything, and I know he met up with Obama recently to unveil his White House portrait, but aside from a photo-op here and there he’s pretty much out of the public eye. What do you think he does everyday after he gets up and has a cup of coffee? What do you think it’s like if he just wants to go out and get a Slurpee? Do you think he can just take a drive over to Seven-Eleven and walk in like it’s no big deal? Or would he have to get one or two Secret Service agents to tag along? What if he really wants a Slurpee every day, but he feels stupid bothering his agents for something as trivial as a Slurpee run, and so he decides that, maybe he doesn’t need a Slurpee that bad after all? Maybe he’s grown so self-conscious about what his agents think about him that he never even wants to leave the house. And what if he does go to Seven-Eleven? He gets there, walks in, fills up his cup, goes to the register, and then what? This guy used to have the access codes to the majority of the world’s nuclear weapons, and now he’s going to wait for some clerk to count out his spare change? What flavor do you think he’d pick anyway? My bet would be piña colada.

You guys ever think about watching that show Grey’s Anatomy? Yeah, me neither. (Zing!)